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IU Northwest mourns the loss of former administrator and SPEA adjunct professor William Staehle

Staehle, who worked closely with former Chancellor Hilda Richards, dedicated 15 years of his life to the university


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School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Today, January 4, 2011, Indiana University Northwest regretfully announced the passing of former administrator and School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) adjunct professor William Staehle, age 78, of Valparaiso. Staehle passed away on Sunday, January 2, 2011.

Staehle worked at IU Northwest from 1981 until 1996. He was the Director of Community Relations and Development and worked out of the Chancellor’s Office at the time of his departure from the university.

Joe Pellicciotti, Vice Chancellor for Administration, was first introduced to his colleague when he joined the campus in the early 1980s. At that time, Pellicciotti recalled, Staehle was teaching urban government and policy courses within SPEA.

“Bill was a committed and excellent teacher; I learned a great deal from him,” Pellicciotti said. “He had tremendous professional competence, plus he knew all of the key policymakers in Northwest Indiana.”

Pellicciotti, reflecting on the life of his colleague and friend, mentioned that his personality in the classroom was equally matched on a personal level.

“He was a wonderful person,” he said. “Everyone I knew liked Bill. He was a natural mentor and a good friend to so many of us at IU Northwest and throughout Northwest Indiana.”

After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, Staehle received his bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master's degree in urban planning from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

In addition to working at IU Northwest, he was a former city planner for the City of Gary, Model Cities director for the City of Gary, and director for the Indiana/Illinois Bi-State Commission.

He was also past administrator of the Job Corps and retired as the administrator of the Gary/Chicago International Airport.

Staehle was presently serving as a Trustee on the John W. Anderson Foundation and was a proud member of the Friendly Sons of Erin, Hunkee Hollow Athletic Club, the American Legion Post #94, and a member of St. Teresa of Avila Church.

“His passing is a great loss, not only to the IU Northwest community, but to all of us in Northwest Indiana,” said Pellicciotti. “He loved our region and worked hard to improve the quality of life in our area.”

Staehle is survived by his wife of 53 years, Kathryn F. (nee Kileen) Staehle of Valparaiso; sons: Thomas W. (Cynthia) Staehle of Dyer and Daniel J. Staehle of Pittsburgh; daughter, Susan (Christopher) Galante of Miller; five grandchildren: Michael, Mark, Joseph, Neil Staehle and Gianna Galante; brother, Gerald Staehle of Wautoma, Wis.

IU Northwest extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of William Staehle.

Friends may visit with the family at Burns Funeral Home, 10101 Broadway, Crown Point, on Wednesday, Jan. 5 from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Jan. 6 at 10 a.m. at Burns Funeral Home, Crown Point. At 11 a.m., Rev. Kevin McCarthy will officiate a mass of Christian Burial at St. Teresa of Avila, 1511 LaPorte Ave., Valparaiso. Services will conclude at the church with cremation following.

Contributions may be made to Cerebral Palsy of NW Indiana, the Boys & Girls Club of Lake or Porter County, or Campagna Academy.